SGT GAVIN HARVEY AND FAMILY
Gavin Harvey is not an average man. An inspirational leader, according to his commanding officer, he is a man of huge courage and extraordinary grit.
He’d been serving with the British Army for 11 years when he took command of the convoy on August 4 in Helmand to re-supply the Mercian Regiment with water and ammunitions. The convoy was taking part in Operation Panther’s Claw, the British-led military operation in southern Afghanistan to secure various canal and river crossings and establish a lasting International Security Assistance Force presence in one of the main Taliban strongholds, ahead of the 2009 Afghan presidential election.
‘Basically, I struck an IED (improvised explosive device) that killed Anthony and left me like this,’ he says, gesturing to the place where his legs used to be. Craftsman Anthony Lombardi’s death still troubles him deeply. He was a friend and had a son, Harvey, who is not yet one year old. Gavin was the sergeant in command of the convoy. ‘I was devastated when I was told he was dead,’ he says. ‘It’s awful when you get close to someone and hear about their families if they’ve got kids - then they’re just gone. I did this to me.’
‘The thing is IEDs are so frequent in Panther’s Claw. It’s like playing Minesweeper without the numbers. You’ve got no idea where they are. The explosion must have been quick. The blast knocked me out. I remember waking up and I had three teeth missing. I had blood in my mouth and thought I had internal injuries. I spat it out and tried to breath again.
‘There was blood everywhere. I thought: “Oh s***, not me.” The blast had blown ammunition and food all over the place. I was lying on top of it in the dirt. I tried to get up and that’s when I realised my legs had been blown to bits. There were bones and tendons showing. ‘I couldn’t feel them. It was all numb. I couldn’t feel any pain. It felt tight. Everything felt really tight, really strange. ‘I remember looking at myself. My internal organs had come out. They were everywhere. I could see them. I had a ruptured bladder, a ruptured stomach. It was pretty much as bad as you can get — pretty much like, “I’m dead.”
Unlike the SCUMMY POLITICIANS at the CHILCOT ENQUIRY, Gavin takes full responsibilities for his actions. Now the POLITICIANS SHOULD ACCEPT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES AND MAKE SURE THAT MEN LIKE GAVIN ARE PROPERLY LOOKED AFTER, AFTER DYING AND BEING MAIMED FOR THEIR COUNTRY!